Flux OoC: This was a good session - and Fireflash didn't end up naked!
GM: That was the most Keystone Kops fight I've ever gamesmastered, and I used to GM Toon.
GM: Ah yes, Spiderman 3 - the one with the Rule 63 K.D.Lang.
The five members of Quadrant have decided to get a bit more proactive, regarding the gang situation in Edge City. A good excuse for Weldun to play more of the soundtrack he put together for the Edge City Gangs. The first target is going to be Humanity First, largely because they tried to send power-armoured terrorists into The Zoo, and also because they somehow managed to acquire a giant robot. Who is diverting resources to them?
Of course, the designer drug problem in Marsden is pretty bad too - each gang with their own specialty. The Voodoo Crew, for example, sell Super-C, cocaine cut with ground bone. Oddly enough it seems to be much safer than the original.
Hero Shrew: How much do you want to bet that half these drugs are the same thing, with different food colouring?
Apparently not - the drugs are all very different, with some potent effects. Edge City’s biotech industry has been inventing some pretty alarming stuff. Our GM certainly did his research on these drugs, including prices.
GM: This is the research I do. I am now for certain on yet another ****ing watchlist.
GM: The whole King of the Hill game in the Booster gang leadership now has a Queen. Nobody knows where she came from but she’s following Dysprosium Dawn’s line, so…. I’m resisting calling her Mecha-Shiva.
GM: Becoming a superhero might have ruined Fireflash’s sex life, but…
Hero Shrew: I’m sure Bad Dragon could do something special for her.
GM: Actually, Flux knows that Guiltrider does a line in super-science sex toys.
Hardlight: … Why is she a villain again?
GM: She did call the four of you Poser, Try-hard, and Token, but couldn’t think of a good name for Fireflash.
Allana: I found her perfectly pleasant.
GM: Well, you’ll have something to tell Fireflash, assuming the conversation ever happens.
Flux: WHICH IT WON’T. EVER.
Still the question remains - where are Humanity First getting their weapons? They stopped buying from Warlord years back, for some reason.
Hero Shrew: I need to talk to some slightly dodgy people.
Flux: What, us?
Allana: More dodgy.
Apparently there’s a pop-up Underground mercenary tech show that shows up in Edge City every few months, and Humanity First hosts it every time. And the reason they stopped buying the Warlord’s stuff is because it’s hinky alien tech, and he’s been turning his minions into cyborgs, which is against their politics.
How to find the tech show? Apart from waiting until Allana finishes her regenerator technology, scent marking it, waiting until it gets stolen, and following the scent to the auction.
Allana: It’s a long-term plan.
Of course, even if we do find out when and where it’s happening, how do we get in?
Hero Shrew: I suppose Hardlight could show up in his civilian identity, with a suitcase full of cash.
Or even better, since both Hardlight and Iron Claw are powered by the same kind of alien crystal, we send him in disguised as Iron Claw.
Hardlight: That’s actually a good idea!
GM: Why are you surprised? Flux came up with it. If YOU had come up with it, I’d be surprised.
Hardlight: Would my Weirdness Magnet complicate things?
Hero Shrew: Sure. The real Iron Claw shows up - and so does somebody else, also pretending to be Iron Claw.
GM: Yes! Or even better Iron Claw shows up pretending to be Hardlight.
Maybe Guiltrider (AKA Dr Soma, although only Allana knows that) could get us in, since supertech is her schtick
Flux: How do we contact her? None of us have her number.
Hero Shrew: It’s not like any of us know her personally, or meet her on a regular basis.
And where in Edge City do they HOLD this tech show?
Hardlight: It’s going to be a comics convention isn’t it. All those fake swords and toy guns on display? They aren’t fake. But somebody stuck orange tips on them all.
Actually, there probably isn’t anywhere in Edge City itself that they could hide such a paramilitary meeting. So when do the Humanity First leadership vanish off social media? And what sort of big events outside Edge City could provide cover and are happening at the same time? Big private paintball events? Dunebuggy races in Baja? Anywhere with lots of big tents?
A recent Cybertech decathlon seems suspiciously timed. As do a few of the paintball events. Which were run by a family member of one of the Humanity First leaders. It seems we’re on to something. Hardlight gets his company, Lowelltech, to find out which weekends are available for corporate paintball events. And which weekends are already pre-booked by the weapons expo.
Hardlight: I know a guy in Alaska.
Flux: We’re going to a weapons expo at a paintball range - there WILL be a polar bear fitting grenade launchers and lasers to a paintball gun.
And since we have weeks of warning, Scooter can dig tunnels under the paintball range, and set up metal pitons every few meters so Flux can teleport in and out, and use his technomancy to spy. Of course any information we acquire might be inadmissible in court, but will still be useful to us as we break Humanity First by other means.
He soon learns that ARGENT - "Advanced Research Group ENTerprises" - is one of the groups attending the expo. And the ARGENT rep is apparently telling off Killzone for some of her failures, because they make the FUSION-POWERED PISTOLS (!!!!!) she’s using, and the rest of the Doomtrooper tech, look bad. And that Killzone plans to make a third attempt at kidnapping Fireflash, or they’ll have to get a contract extension with ARGENT.
Flux: It’s lucky I can’t make any noise down here, or they’d hear me yelling on the surface.
Fireflash: I didn’t even realise they were trying to kidnap me the first time.
Flux and Allana start planning ways to track down Fireflash and any other team members that might get kidnapped. But where to put the tracking samples so can’t be used against us?
Flux: We’re going to hide hair samples in Gareth Lowell’s safety deposit box at the bank with a little black book of non-existent women’s names. So if anybody finds them they’ll just think Lowell collects … trophies… from his conquests.
Hero Shrew: Isn’t Hardlight gay?
But we still don’t know where Humanity First are getting most of their money. We also learn that somebody is making quadrupedal drones fitted with stolen miniguns (stolen by Ankylosaur) and tail-mounted knock-offs of Ankylosaur’s tail-mounted grenade launcher..
Hero Shrew: So we’re going to hunt shooty shooty robots.
GM: Now I have Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stuck in my head.
GM and Hero Shrew: *sing* Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, We Hunt You.
Allana: We’re tracking down Humanity First’s combat robots.
Fireflash: I need to get together with Flux first.
Fireflash: I need a tracer put on me.
GM: Oh, I thought Flux’s work on the heat resistant condom had paid off.
GM: I just, I, what?? *brain derails*
We’ve certainly learned that Humanity First has some alarming assets, even if somebody walked off with their giant robot because somebody wanted to fight kaiju in it. But it’s the combat bots that have as most concerned right now. They could kill a lot of people if unleashed on a target-rich environment. So we should probably find out which Humanity First member is in charge of the On Switch. Just smashing the bots would also work, if we can get them all.
Hardlight: Are we going loud?
Hero Shrew: Sort of? The rest of us are overt, but not very loud.
Hardlight: Ok. Screw it. PHOTON BLAAAADE!
GM: If you weren’t going loud before you are now.
The two we catch patrolling are easy enough to subdue. They’re just robots - not supertech robots. Their handler hurriedly pretends to be an innocent bystander and scurries off, since we dealt with the things before he could even pull his smartphone out. The bots are carted off to the ECPD, where we can take them apart and disarm their flashbang grenades. We discover it has rudimentary intelligence, but has to obey all orders from its owner.
Fireflash: Can we redefine ‘owner’?
Hardlight: Great! Flux, we’ve found you a friend.
GM: You’re pretty sure your rental agreement with Bubo the mechanical owl said ‘no pets’.
On the other hand, its owner made sure to wear a mask and voice distorter, and its operating protocols ran on a smartphone dongle, which no doubt is dissolving in an acid bath somewhere by now. Still, there’s enough evidence at the building the two robots were stored in that the EPCD can start serving warrants, and actually charge Humanity First members.
If our team keeps wrecking their robots as well, the next few days should annoy them immensely.
Hero Shrew: Bonus!
The rest of the gangs in the area are staying oddly quiet. At least four of them would object to a truce until the gangs can carve up Humanity First’s territory, too. It’s starting to look like we’ll have to deal with the more extreme gangs first, before we leave a power vacuum by eliminating the racists.